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Brown takes issue with Navy coach's comments

Nov 12, 2009, 10:30 AM EDT


Before Corwin Brown spoke about the upcoming game with Pittsburgh, he had to get something off his chest. Specifically, Brown took issue with Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo’s comments in his postgame press conference, where he made a comment that started with “I really hope this doesn’t come across wrong,” that called out the Notre Dame coaching staff’s game plan.

Well coach, it definitely came across wrong, because that quote was used by just about every reporter covering the game.

And not surprisingly, it ticked Corwin off.

“I thought it was very disappointing what the Navy head coach said after the game. He didn’t want something to be misconstrued, but then he said it, regarding how we prepared and what we prepared to do. We came out in the second half — minus one mess up — they don’t get anything.

“Whether you think it’s the right thing to say or not, in this profession, all the classy guys that I’ve watched and played under and studied, they would never say a thing like that. To say that we didn’t prepare well or have a game plan, that’s crazy.

“I don’t ever get up here and talk about the illegal cut blocks. They hit Puppy (Brian Smith) illegally last year, and put him out. They hit RJ (Robert Blanton) on one of the most malicious plays I’ve ever seen since I’ve been playing and I called him about it. I told him I thought it was very poor. He probably thought I called because we lost, I was going to say something to him before the game, but I didn’t. Very malicious. And in this game, which we’re supposed to be playing for our kids and working for our kids, you don’t let your players do something like that.

“Now, Coach Weis and Coach Tenuta do a great job getting us prepared on offense and defense. I don’t care what foxhole they’re in, I’m jumping in the foxhole with them every time. We had a damn good game plan. And that’s all I’ve got to say.”

First off, good for Corwin, getting that off his chest. That comment immediately reminded me of the classic Bill Parcells rant that got him in so much trouble with Asian Americans. (If you don’t remember, google it… I’m not linking to it.) Here’s a good rule to carry with you. If you’re about to say, “no offense” or “don’t take this the wrong way,” you can pretty much assume that what you are saying is 1) offensive or 2) going to be taken the wrong way.

As for Niumatalolo’s comment, there might have been some validity to it, but it’s one of those things that you probably don’t want to say. (Similar to proclaiming you might have a “decided schematic advantage” over other coaches.)

I remember watching the replay on that illegal cut block on Blanton and thinking to myself that if it wasn’t a Navy player doing that, he’d get shredding. But that’s one of the other elements that go into playing Navy, the sentiment that because they’re a service academy and because they are heroic off the football field that they’re above reproach.

While it’s too late this season, and possibly too late for Charlie Weis and this coaching staff, I expect the gloves to come off next season.

  1. TR - Nov 12, 2009 at 11:55 AM

    I am not a ND fan, and never have been, but I think they played a good gamem as far as the play on the field every team gets away with foul play at some point, I don’t keep up with the game close enough to remember every thing,but ND was given two games they should have lost, washington, and the game before, if washington had kicked the field gold instead of trying to put the ball in the in zone 4 or five times they would have won the game, the team before Washington refused to kick a field gold and lost, thats foot ball, Pitt will beat ND on Saturday,
    I just hope it’s a good game no matter who wins.

  2. Drzlecuti - Nov 12, 2009 at 1:15 PM

    TR, ND practically gave the game away to Washington. 5 field goals in 6 scoring drives! No TDs with 1st and goals from the 7, etc. When I got home from the game my neighbor said, “You guys made that game way too hard.”

  3. Greg - Nov 12, 2009 at 2:07 PM

    Is that all Norte Dame is good for now is crying. Fire the whole Coaching staff, how do you let a 43 game winning streak be stopped & to prove it was no fluke come back & beat them again on there own field. The Navy Coach is just telling it like it is. Don’t like it put a better prodcut on the Field. Charlie sucks as a head coach & its obivous is staff is weak too. They suck on special teams, they suck on the line both sides, they really suck on all aspects of the defense. You can’t Stop Navy, you deserve to be talked down.

  4. sharkey - Nov 12, 2009 at 2:21 PM

    Finally!! A coach is actually saying what he thinks and not the same old inane coachspeak. I hardly watch interviews anymore because I know the coaches political correct answers before they speak. Stop crying ND and start playing football!!!

  5. sharkey - Nov 12, 2009 at 2:32 PM

    Besides, something needs to light a fire under these player’s @#$% to get them to play up to the championship team that they are. If the embarrassment of losing isn’t enough, the gloating of the opposing coach isn’t enough, what will be??!!

  6. Wetalkedonthefield - Nov 12, 2009 at 3:05 PM

    Where’s the video of Jimmy Clausen’s cheap shot after the interception? To be honest, I don’t care because both situations were handled on the field of play with appropriate personal foul penalties. I seriously doubt any malice in either Henderson for Navy or Clausen for Notre Dame. I get it that MSNBC would be incredibly biased towards the team with the big contract and that they are trying to stick up for their team. However, this is especially silly. For one, this is just one play and it had no bearing on the outcome. Also, the quote is silly coming from a defensive coach who had his rear end handed to him from the first whistle (and was the coordinator when the 43 year streak ended). His defense gave up over 400 yards to a bunch of players lucky to have had even one star by their names when they were recruits. Please notice that Navy is the least penalized team in all of the FBS.
    I am a Navy graduate and very thankful of our coaching staff and our players. We were just as happy with Coach Ken last week after our loss to Temple as we are now having beat Notre Dame. We also love our defensive coordinator, Buddy Green. Can you believe we are so happy when our defense gave up 450 yards passing? I can’t think of two better coaches in Division I Football than the two we have. Go ahead and “take the gloves off” next year. Does that mean you will be bringing your five star recruits, your two or three heisman candidates, and your lineman that outweigh us be 50 lbs per man accross the D line? Perhaps another five star coach with millions in salary to “out-scheme” us? The pressure will be on you. We are always expected to lose by two touchdowns or more. Good luck.

  7. Grandpashyena - Nov 12, 2009 at 3:07 PM

    For Pete’s (not Carrol) sake ND and ND fans. Get off the poor little me amd the anti-ND conspiresy theories. You guys are supposed to stomp most teams and beat most of the good ones. I didn’t hear the likes of all the whiners and excuse makers when ND plastered just about everyone. Perhaps CW and ND need another year to let his recruiting cycle catch on and have fruit. Then the nay birds can come out. Until then, chin up, man up and quit whining. It makes you look silly. After all, you are Notre Dame.

  8. kinganthony - Nov 12, 2009 at 4:38 PM

    Brown should stop crying and start coaching. His defense has been out played all year. With the All Americans and Blue Chip players he has to work with Navy had no business marching up and down the field. And if his Defense couldn’t stop Navy, wait until he gets a load of Stanford’s running game.

  9. exhelodrvr - Nov 12, 2009 at 4:52 PM

    “I expect the gloves to come off next season. ”
    So, with ND knowing that their hopes for a BCS game were riding on winning out, after losing to Navy two years ago, with a fairly close game last year, playing a Navy team that lost to Ohio State in Ohio State by four points, Notre Dame wasn’t trying as hard as they could have?
    Sounds to me like a problem with their coaching staff. Or is that one on their players?

  10. KT - Nov 12, 2009 at 5:19 PM

    For a slightly different view of this, please see:

  11. Zach - Nov 12, 2009 at 6:18 PM

    We are all truly FAN(lun)anitics. We over analyze, and we obsess, we act like we seriously don’t have anything better to do.
    Navy acts like they just won some kind of medal, and ND fans act like the sky is falling.
    Bottom line is, “Nothing is ever as good as it seems, and nothing is ever as bad, but somewhere in between falls reality.”
    I let you guess who authored that.

  12. Wags - Nov 12, 2009 at 6:23 PM

    Have we, Notre Dame, been reduced to whining? What happened to the days when, win or lose, Notre Dame always showed discipline and class? I didn’t even hear about the Navy coach’s comment, but if he said they had a better game plan, he was right. If he said they outplayed us, he was right. From what I saw, Navy had a better plan, was more disciplined, played harder and executed better. They deserved to win. They earned it on the field.
    The problem is not that we lost. It’s the way we lost, and the way we handled it. That’s a leadership problem, and Coach Brown’s response is evidence of it.
    Exhibit #2 might be Coach Brown’s comment about how they shut down Navy, “minus one mess up,” in the second half. Didn’t Navy already have three touchdowns and three hundred plus yards rushing by then? Sounds like closing the barn door…

  13. TLNDMA - Nov 12, 2009 at 6:35 PM

    I’m not knocking Brown here, but I do feel the Navy coach was not way out of line. In his comments he mentioned how good of a job ND had done the previous year, he was correct in thinking they would do it again. John Tenuta in his mid-week press conference said they would do as much. Weis in his thursday presser, stated ND’s goal was to outrush Navy, the defenses play being a big part of that. We know how that turned out. The cheap hit was exactly that, if Brown wants to complain about it, so be it. The private phone call should have probably stayed private. I’m going to guess from Brown’s frustration that the call didn’t go too well.

  14. mike ford - Nov 12, 2009 at 7:04 PM

    If you watch the replay Jimmy was hit first and retaliated. Yes it still was a bad move on his part but it wasn’t cheap!! And your being a Navy fan well to be happy with a loss ???? OK you made the rivalry a rivalry again. Congrats on the win and you can believe we won’t even come close to overlooking you guys again!!

  15. Wetalkedonthefield - Nov 12, 2009 at 8:00 PM

    Didn’t say I was happy with the Navy loss to Temple…just saying I didn’t hold it against our coaching staff. The team was in position to win. The players just failed to execute.
    By the way, no slight against ND fans – I served with a couple of real stand-up guys who graduated from ND. Best wishes on the rest of your season.

  16. mike ford - Nov 12, 2009 at 8:21 PM

    My respect for those who served and are serving is great and I wish you well!! lookin forward to talkin with ya next year. GO IRISH!

  17. wongstory - Nov 12, 2009 at 9:38 PM

    I must admit, I am getting very nervous about all this talk about Weis-guy being on the hot seat. I’ve noticed an interesting trend. For the first 3 years of the Hamburgler’s tenure, all the ND haters were were bashing the dude while all the ND faithful were blaming paint-dry-ty for all their woes. It is a hater’s worst nightmare to see the weis-guy get the axe. It’s similar to comics sorry to see Bush go. And who’s leading all this anti weis talk….. ND faithful.

  18. Expected Better - Nov 12, 2009 at 9:38 PM

    Give me a break. How easy is it to hurt Corwin Brown’s feelings? I thought the program was better than this whining nonsense.

  19. Diablo - Nov 12, 2009 at 10:30 PM

    Wow…A service academy is accused of being dirty…by Notre Dame of all teams. I am amazed to hear from a school that has the only national TV deal in the country, all the blue chippers they could possibly want, and an almost unlimited sports budget, wine and moan about fairness and accuse a service academy, during two concurrent wars (so we pretty much know where most of these kids are heading and it ain’t the NFL), on Veterans’ Day. Cut blocks are not illegal and since the Academy has entrance standards, how the heck are they supposed to play when they are outweighed by 40 lbs a man?

  20. willmose - Nov 12, 2009 at 10:46 PM

    The coaches at ND just whine. How about coaching the talent you have instead. I know it requires hard work and that notion seems foreign to both the Notre Dame coaches and players. Shut up and play or join Division II and whine.

  21. EP - Nov 13, 2009 at 3:17 AM

    The story focused on Corwin Brown, but the author doesn’t mention his role on the team. The reader is left to guess whether Corwin is on the staff or a player, offensive or defensive side of the ball? Very poor writing.

  22. robertg - Nov 13, 2009 at 7:28 AM

    1. the gloves are already off right now.
    2. while there is very little that charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes can say or do about dishonest officiating, rules enforcement(including intentionally illegal conduct during games shielded by dishonest officials), and rankings systems, we are not restricted by any such “sportsmanship” conduct rules(aka keep quiet about the dishonest officiating and dirty plays).
    3. cut blocking was made illegal with each violation requiring a 15 yard penalty and continuing voilations primarily because of the on the field tactics of one team, navy.
    4. the irrefutable evidence demonstates that the navy coaches and many navy players knew in advance of the game that they were going to get free passes from the officiating crew on more than 90% of navy’s cutblocks and other illegal acts, the primary purpose of which was to injure notre dame student athletes seriously.
    5. navy’s coaches and players have to deal not only with us in the civil courts. they also have to deal with the naval academy’s honor code and the authorities that enforce that code.
    6. like corwin, we are angry. unlike corwin, we have the tools in the civil courts to get even.
    7. if anyone is expecting that notre dame’s student athletes are going to get down in the sewers and engage in cut blocking and other illegal conduct to counter such conduct by other teams, forget about that.
    8. and no, we are not going to shut up. therte will be very public civil jury trials on these issues and anyone who wants to come into those courtrooms and try the shut up defense is more than welcome to try.
    9. however, our experience has been that such individuals are justifiably afraid to come out from behind their phony internet identities.
    GO IRISH!!!

  23. grandpashyena - Nov 13, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    This is exactly what folks are talking about. Whine, whine, whine. Conspiracy, conspiracy, Conspiracy. You have the pick of recruits, your own T.V. network, the Catholic Church ( minus a few folks at BC) and you still can’t get over that you can actually lose a game. Notre Dame is a great University and sports program. Act like it. Also, adjust your meds.

  24. Wags - Nov 13, 2009 at 11:06 AM

    In the immortal words of Archie Bunker, “Stifle it!”

  25. Irish Eyes - Nov 13, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    This had nothing to do with the outcome.That being said that was a Bullsh*t shot. If Notre Dame does that they would be crucified – no pun intended.

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